Bible Interpretation

The Bible is an ancient text about the all-powerful God written at least 2000 years ago by people from another culture. How can we correctly interpret what the Bible is trying to tell us?

Day One: Hermeneutics
Biblical hermeneutics is the science of properly interpreting the various types of literature found in the Bible. For example, a psalm should often be interpreted differently from a prophecy. A proverb should be understood and applied differently from a law...
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Day Two: Exegesis
Exegesis means "exposition or explanation." Biblical exegesis involves the examination of a particular text of scripture in order to properly interpret it. Exegesis is a part of the process of hermeneutics...
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Day Three: Literal Interpretation
Not only can we take the Bible literally, but we must take the Bible literally. This is the only way to determine what God really is trying to communicate to us...
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Day Four: Biblical Literalism
Biblical literalism is the method of interpreting Scripture that holds that, except in places where the text is obviously allegorical, poetic, or figurative, it should be taken literally...
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Day Five: Textualism
Textualism is the practice of adhering to the actual text of any document. Much courtroom debate centers around textualism as lawyers, judges, and juries must give heed to what the law actually says. Textualism is especially appropriate in biblical hermeneutics...
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Day Six: Miracles
Yes, the miracles of the Bible are to be taken literally, just as all Scripture is to be taken literally except those portions which are clearly intended to be symbolic. An example of symbolism is Psalm 17:8. We are not literally apples in God's eye, nor does God literally have wings...
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Day Seven: Allegory
An allegory is a story in which the characters and/or events are symbols representing other events, ideas, or people. Allegory has been a common literary device throughout the history of literature...
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Day Eight: Symbolism
The language of the Bible is rich with metaphor. The biblical writers used familiar, everyday objects to symbolize spiritual truth. Symbols are quite common in the poetic and prophetic portions of the Bible...
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Day Nine: Biblical Typology
Typology is a special kind of symbolism. (A symbol is something which represents something else.) We can define a type as a "prophetic symbol" because all types are representations of something yet future...
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Day Ten: Chapter and Verse
When the books of the Bible were originally written, they did not contain chapter or verse references. The Bible was divided into chapters and verses to help us find Scriptures more quickly and easily...
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Day Eleven: Changing Language
The King James Version of the Bible has been a great blessing to millions of people. Its publication in 1611 was a landmark event, giving English speakers everywhere the ability to read Scripture for themselves and to understand what they were reading...
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Day Twelve: True Colors
While it is a mistake to ascribe some kind of spiritual/mystical message to every mention of a color in the Bible, there are definitely patterns of symbolism attached to the colors in the Bible...
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Day Thirteen: Weights and Measures
The use of weights and measurements was common in ancient times, just like it is today. The problem is that the words used for various measurements were usually specific to that culture...
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Image Credit: condesign; untitled; Creative Commons

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Published 11-4-15